Black Swan Oldstead x Bad Co. Lemon Verbena Pale Ale

30.01.20 | Cocktails and Drinks

By James Banks

Black Swan Oldstead x Bad Co Pale Ale

The Lemon Verbena Pale Ale

James Banks talks about his latest collaboration: Black Swan Oldstead x Bad Co Lemon Verbena Pale Ale. Made with local brewery Bad Co using our Lemon Verbena grown and harvested from our garden in Oldstead.

Made in collaboration with Bad Co.

(AKA Bad Company or Brewing and Distilling Company Ltd)

Bad Co. is a local brewing company based at Dishforth (15 miles away from The Black Swan Oldstead). We have stocked their beers for years and over that time we got to know Matt Brown, the owner, very well.

I have wanted to use Lemon Verbena in a beer for a while and felt it would work well in some kind of Pale Ale. We designed this beer specifically as a pre-dinner aperitif for the restaurant – the brief was clean, refreshing and “smash-able”. We wanted the beer to be relatively low in alcohol (4% ABV) and not too overpowering of the perfumed Verbena.

We’ve actually tried a trial batch in the past using some of our dried Verbena but sadly ended up with a nondescript “tea-like” flavour which wasn’t very pleasant so put the project on hold.

Matt was very interested in our verbena plants, but this time we discussed trying a small test brew using fresh verbena leaves paired with hops chosen for their citrus characteristics.

Black Swan Lemon Verbena

Black Swan Lemon Verbena plant

I am really pleased with the end result and feel that the Lemon Verbena flavour comes through just enough to compliment the citrus hops. It’s now stocked in both The Black Swan Oldstead and our sister restaurant Roots York.

Summit – citrus, tangerine, grapefruit, lemon
Mosaic – tropical, pine, citrus